Minimum of five singles players needed for Thomas Cup – Hendrawan

by BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – National men’s singles coach Hendrawan (picture) is of the view that at least five singles players must be brought to participate in the Thomas Cup 2022 tournament in Bangkok, scheduled to take place from May 8-15.

Hendrawan said the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) decision to give all teams an exemption to have 12 players each for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup compared to 10 previously due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gives more options to the coaching staff to list players who really deserve to play in the most prestigious team tournament.

“So far, we are still deliberating on who will play, we have to wait for the decision of BAM Singles Coaching Director Wong Choong Hann and Doubles Coaching Director Rexy Mainaky.

“Twelve players can be listed… that means in the men’s singles department there can be at least five, if before only four were allowed… with five players there will be more options,” he said when met by reporters after the squad’s training session here.

Asked whether he would retain the line-up of players who helped the country win the inaugural Badminton Asia Team Championship (BATC) in Shah Alam last February, Hendrawan hoped that only the best players would be selected even though some of them were already listed for the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi. Vietnam, from May 12-23.

Hendrawan said only Choong Hann could comment on any last-minute move to change the singles line-up for the SEA Games for inclusion in the Thomas Cup.

“But from past experience, it can be done with lower ranked players slated for the SEA Games but until now there has been no final decision,” he said.

There is one shuttler, Lim Chong King, who was in the BATC squad who will represent the country at the Hanoi Games.

Meanwhile, for the Thomas Cup, Rexy wants to bring six players for the doubles.

“For men’s doubles we want to bring six, it’s up to the singles department to bring six, let them decide,” he said.

For the Thomas Cup, Malaysia are drawn in Group D alongside 2014 champions and second seeds Japan, besides England and New Zealand.